SoAH Research Presents: Animality

In conversation with artist Braco Dimitrijevic and curator Fedja Klikovac, chaired by Professor Olivier Richon.

The Animality research group explores two interrelated fields: the animal as sign and allegory in painting, literature, cinema and other arts as well as the question of animality for human agency.

The animal as a cultural sign enables us to displace and question the centrality of the human, inasmuch as since Darwin, we are all human animals. Animality opens up philosophical questions in terms of the relation between language, feeling and thought; the dialectics between nature and culture.

Animality brings to the fore questions of representation, language and vision. As representations, animals inhabit the short stories of Kafka, Saki and others. They also inform the art practice of artists such as Braco Dimitrijevic, Rosemarie Trockel, Katharina Fritsch and Joseph Beuys. They are centrally present in films such as Balthazaar, by Robert Bresson and Max my Love by Nagisa Oshima.

The Soah Research lecture will be a conversation between artist Braco Dimitrijevic and curator Fedja Klikovac, chaired by Olivier Richon, Professor of Photography and convenor of the Animality research group.

Braco Dimitrijević was born in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia in 1948. He is coming from an artistic family. His father was a well known painter and his mother was an architect. He started making and showing his art at young age. From 1968 to 1971 he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb continuing with post graduate studies at St Martin’s School of Art in London between 1971-1973 and this is the time when he became part of the international art scene. Since then he had more than 160 solo exhibitions, participated in many important group shows likethe legendary Harald Szemann’s Documenta 5 in 1972 (and subsequent Documenta in 76 and 93), 7th Paris Biennale in 1971, several participations in Venice Biennale, Sao Paolo Bienalle, Sydney Biennale, Havana Biennale, Valencia Biennale to more recent historic survey shows like Conceptual Art in Britain 1966-1978 at Tate Britain. His works are in all major museum around the world. He lives and works in Paris.

Fedja Klikovac is a curator and the director of Handel Street Projects gallery. He was born in Montenegro in 1959. From 1977 – 1981 he studied History of Art at the Faculty of Philosophy, Belgrade University. He was a practising artist before he came to London in 1992. In 2002 he opened the pioneering ‘medieval modern’ gallery in Marylebone were he gave artists opportunity to work with medieval artefacts and among many others showed work by Braco Dimitrijevic. Klikovac is also the Art Director of the Foundation for Art and Psychoanalysis based in London.